About Us

Little Free Library’s Mission and Vision

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization based in Hudson, Wisconsin. Our mission is to be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers, and expanding book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led Little Free Libraries.

Our vision is a Little Free Library in every community and a book for every reader. We believe all people are empowered when the opportunity to discover a personally relevant book to read is not limited by time, space, or privilege.

How Do We Achieve Our Mission and Vision?

1. Providing 24/7 book access. Little Free Library book-sharing boxes are open seven days a week, 24 hours a day and are freely accessible to all, removing barriers to book access.

2. Fostering new Little Free Libraries. Little Free Library (LFL) equips, educates, and guides volunteer stewards to establish Little Free Libraries in their communities.

3. Granting Little Free Libraries to high-need areas. Through our programs, LFL grants no-cost Little Free Libraries full of books to underserved urban, suburban, rural, and Native communities.

4. Championing diverse books. Through our Read in Color program, LFL makes books available representing BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other diverse voices to promote understanding, empathy, and inclusion.

5. Working with key community partners. LFL collaborates with schools, public libraries, civic organizations, businesses, and other groups to bring Little Free Libraries to their communities.

Our Values

Little Free Library’s goals and strategies are shaped by a dedicated staff and an engaged board of directors. Together, our work is guided by these core values:

Access
By providing greater, more equitable book access in neighborhoods worldwide, we work to strengthen communities and influence literacy outcomes.

Collaboration
We embrace working with Little Free Library volunteer stewards, as well as local and national partners, to build community and improve book access.

Equity
We are dedicated to furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion through the programs we run, the books we share, and the community we serve, as well as in the internal operations of our nonprofit.

Respect
We value all people and communities, and we respect their wisdom in using Little Free Libraries in a meaningful, individualistic way suited to their culture and locality.

Transparency
We are committed to integrity and accountability in how we manage our assets, and we are proud to have earned Platinum GuideStar status.

Statistics are based on a survey of more than 2,500 Little Free Library stewards 2017 – 2021.

Why Does Book Access Matter?

We are facing a growing literacy crisis. Today in the United States, more than 30 million adults cannot read or write above a third-grade level. Studies have repeatedly shown that books in the hands of children have a meaningful impact on improving literacy. The more books in or near the home, the more likely a child will learn and love to read. But two out of three children living in poverty have no books to call their own.

Little Free Library book-sharing boxes play an essential role by providing 24/7 access to books (and encouraging a love of reading!) in areas where books are scarce. At the Little Free Library nonprofit, we’re working to fill book deserts and grant libraries to underserved communities through our Impact Library Program and other initiatives.

Through Little Free Library book exchanges, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

Milestones and More Information

Learn about our impact! Read Little Free Library’s 2020 Annual Report, 2019 Annual Report, or 2018 Annual Report. Get recent highlights in our Spring 2021 NewsletterFall 2020 Newsletter or Spring 2020 Newsletter.

Little Free Library was honored to receive the 2020 World Literacy Award from the World Literacy Foundation. We are a Top-Rated Nonprofit by the Great Nonprofits organization and received Guidestar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency.

Little Free Library is a recipient of the Library of Congress Literacy Award, the National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize, Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers Award, the Women’s National Book Association’s Second Century Prize, and the Force for Positive Change Award. Discover more of our milestones and awards.

Looking for additional info? Meet the Little Free Library staff, learn how Little Free Library got started, or check out our recent media stories.

If you’re a member of the press, please review our press resources.

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